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How Brands Use Augmented Reality to Increase Sales

01/07/2021 | Share:

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming more and more common in the ecommerce space. It’s particularly useful for products that ideally need to be seen in person and are normally purchased in stores. If you’re active on social media channels you’ll no doubt have come across elements of augmented reality that allow users to add filters and edit their faces with smart technology.

Whilst this is all very fun to play about with, businesses have adapted this to help market their own products. We’re going to look at some ways in which brands use augmented reality to increase sales.

IKEA – AR Furniture Shopping

Perhaps one of the best examples of how AR is solving problems is IKEA. When people buy furniture, they measure their space and the furniture separately. They also don’t know for sure how it’s going to look.

IKEA’s app allows furniture shoppers to view the furniture as if they were in their homes. By scanning the room, it can place a piece of furniture in the room with 98% accuracy, giving the user an idea of what space will remain. Shoppers will also get a feel for how the furniture will complement the rest of the decor in that room. If everything looks good, the customer can order the furniture to be delivered.

Using this type of AR is great if you’ve got a product that is difficult or expensive to return, such as furniture, appliances or anything large and heavy.

Dulux – AR Wall Paint

With its Visualizer App, Dulux lets customers visualise how their paint colours would look on the walls of their home. It’s great for those people who struggle with visualising the finished job based on a small patch of tester paint.

The app lets you browse through over 1200 colours and try them out on your wall. You simply select a colour and a wall surface and the app does the rest. You can even take photos or create videos with the colours you’ve chosen so you can share with your friends and get their opinion. The app also lets you pick colours from existing colours from the room.

By allowing quick and easy purchasing of the chosen shades, the use of AR is not only a great customer journey but it also focuses people’s attention on which of Dulux’s colours to choose rather than whether to choose Dulux or not. After investing time within the app to experiment with your room and being able to order the colours effortlessly and instantly, why would you look elsewhere? It’s a great example of a brand standing out in its market.

If you’ve got a product that looks very different in its container or on the shelf compared to when it’s used or in use, AR could benefit your business. Examples include paint, makeup, curtains and wallpaper.

Kinder – Supermarket Adventure

In 2020, Kinder added QR codes to their POS materials that would open up an AR experience called “Jump Into Africa”. Aimed at young children, it took people on a virtual African safari containing 3D animals alongside fun infographics.

Kinder’s AR experience is designed to give children a fun and informative experience without being directly related to marketing the product. In the AR experience, there’s no mention of chocolate at all. If anything, it’s more related to the toys and gifts that are found within the eggs, however, it provides value and a great experience. Which product on the shelf do you think will be more memorable? Whilst this isn’t exactly an ecommerce example, it’s certainly inspiration for your own business.

If you want to make a big impact that none of your competitors has thought of, AR could be the way to do it.

Sephora – AR Makeup

World-renowned make-up brand, Sephora, uses its Visual Artist to allow users to visualise how makeup products will look on their faces. Especially in recent times, it has been a great alternative to store visits and trying products on, allowing people to keep their distance.

The app scans the lips and eyes before overlaying with the chosen lipstick, eye-shadow, false lashes or other products from the range.

It encourages e-commerce sales and helps remove any doubt in people’ minds about what makeup might look like, without having to take a trip to their nearest store, which might not be nearby.

Social AR filters

As we’ve mentioned, on social media networks such as Instagram and Snapchat AR filters are already a common sight. The platforms provide their own filters but also give others the tools to create their own. Naturally, lots of brands have now jumped on the bandwagon and developed their own AR filters. Examples of brands include ASOS and Starbucks.

With so many brands creating theirs, it would put you on an equal footing to develop your own. You can get as creative as you like depending on your product – a lot of brands ask the question “which [insert product] are you?”. This might be a good place to start. You don’t need to sell too hard on social media, so make it fun.

AR is the future

In a post-pandemic world, people might not be as confident about trying products such as makeup face-to-face or entering crowded IKEA stores. With AR technology, it’s possible for customers to engage with products almost as they would in physical stores and that higher engagement translates to higher sales. You can also eliminate barriers to purchasing products whilst also providing a service to your customers that your competitors don’t. It’s an incredibly powerful tool.

But, it’s a growing trend and eventually, AR will become easily accessible to everyone. AR happens to be on our list of top trends for 2021 and we think that now is the time to reap the benefits from augmented reality before it becomes a necessity.

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